John Muir


[John Muir]


Louie [Strentzel Muir]


[in margin: 719]


Aug. 17, 1888

Dear Louie

We have been spending the day here wandering about the margin of the falls White crystalline foaming & clashing - a truly noble display of pure living rejoicing abounding water from the Idaho Mountains in this land of torrid gray & black volcanic plains. The falls are on the Spokane river a stream four or five times the size of the Merced in Yosemite It is the outlet of the Cour de Alene Lake & flows into the Columbia. Through a dreary land, carrying its lifegiving blessed crystal floods in lavish abundance & beauty. the falls are divided into many currents & sections by volcanic islands & are in the heart of the town Much of the power being put to use in mills of various kinds.


[in margin: a letter from you just before leaving Seattle. Trust all are well [illegible]]

How you would enjoy a day or two here. The weather is hot by the afternoon but cool towards evening &Y in the early hours of morning The Mentzelia a large primrose of the evening kind common where you lived on the Merced I found in abundance at the foot of the fall in dry as by ground. It is a large rough looking plant with glutinous leaves I send a withered speciman to Helen.

I wrote Wanda from Seattle the other day telling you to write to Dr Parry then I would be at Chico in about 10 days or earlier from that time. I have lost his address.

We take the train back to Tacoma tonight near midnight & will be in Portland tomorrow night. Thence we will go a little way up the Columbia & then homeward. Have poor luck in getting good food of any sort. & loose much sleep. Will be glad to rest awhile. I received


Spokane Falls, W[ashington T[erritory]

Date Original

1888 Aug 17


Original letter dimensions: 14.5 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 1132

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



2 pages



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